Wage garnishment can have an immediate and serious impact on those experiencing it. A wage garnishment is an order that requires your employer to hold back a certain portion of your pay and send the money directly to your creditor. This means that people suddenly get a much smaller paycheck than expected, and this can leave people in a dire financial situation.
In many cases, to enact a wage garnishment, a creditor obtains a money judgment from the court. However, some creditors do not have to file a suit to get a wage garnishment and instead have a statutory right to take money out of your paycheck. This is the case if you owe taxes, federal student loans, child support payments, and more.
If you are facing a wage garnishment that you believe is unfair and wrongful, then you should get in touch with a Houston wage garnishment attorney. There can be many challenges when fighting wage garnishment, and it can take several months before a person has their regular pay restored. In order to get through the legal process as efficiently as possible, you should contact Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC.
Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC in Houston, TX
If you are being unfairly affected by wage garnishment, then it’s vital that you enlist the help of an experienced lawyer. If not, you risk being burdened with wage garnishment until your debt is cleared.
With over 26 years of experience in helping clients fight Texas tax and money law, Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. and his deep understanding and knowledge of all financial law make him the ideal choice to fight against unfair wage garnishments.
Because he has devoted his long career to litigation and resolution, you can trust that Attorney Stearns has the skill necessary to successfully fight on your behalf against wage garnishment.
With his proficiency, paired with his committed approach to each attorney-client relationship, you can trust that working with Attorney Stearns will be as stress-free as possible. He will take on the bulk of the legal responsibilities, meaning that you can carry on and continue to focus on your daily life.
Still unsure? With professional associations including the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas, plus several honors, you can rest assured that Ronald A. Stearns Sr. is an excellent, reliable attorney, who will work hard to ensure that you receive the best outcome based on your specific case.
What Payments Are Eligible For Wage Garnishment?
Across the United States, you may face wage garnishments for the following:
- Spousal maintenance and spousal support
- Unsecured debt, such as medical bills and credit cards
- Student loan
- Child support
- Attorney fees for child custody or support
- Criminal fines and court fees
- Unpaid taxes and tax debt
- Fines and penalties owed to government agencies
- Personal loans
- Housing fee debts
However, this, as well as wage garnishment laws, can change depending on what state you live and work in.
What Payments Are Eligible For Wage Garnishment in Texas Specifically
The state of Texas doesn’t allow wage garnishment for personal loans, medical debt, credit card debt, auto loans, and other types of consumer debt. Even if a judgment is filed against you, most creditors cannot garnish your wages in Texas unless it’s for federal student loans, domestic support obligations, or back taxes.
However, creditors can still seize or place liens on any other assets you have, such as money already in your bank account. Also, if you work for a company out of state, and are paid from a source outside of Texas, you may still get your wages garnished by a debt collector.
The laws surrounding these complicated cases are often confusing. Fortunately, Ronald A. Stearns knows tax and money law like the back of his hand and will ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
Texas Wage Garnishment
Depending on the type of debt, limits on the wage garnishment amount vary under Texas law. For child support or alimony, a credit could garnish up to 50% of your disposable earnings, which is your income after tax. However, for a student loan, the United States Department of Education can garnish 15% of your disposable income, but no more than 30 times the minimum wage.
It is also important to know that Texas law allows state and local governments to garnish wages without court orders.
Texas law protects consumers and it is illegal for employers to discipline or refuse to hire an employee because of any wage garnishment orders.
The Effect of Filing for Bankruptcy on Wage Garnishment in Texas
If you file for bankruptcy under the United States Bankruptcy Code, then creditors must stop all debt collection attempts once you have accurately filed all appropriate bankruptcy paperwork. This is so you are able to get your finances back on track without any other payments hindering your efforts.
However, some types of debts will still need to be paid regardless of your bankruptcy filing. They are classed as “priority debts” and include debts like child support.
For legal help regarding bankruptcy, you should contact a bankruptcy lawyer. Ronald A. Stearns Sr. can help you understand the laws surrounding bankruptcy and guide you through the legal process.
When you file bankruptcy, creditors will also be halted from doing the following:
- Collection calls and correspondence
What Other Funds Can’t Creditors Garnish in Houston, TX?
In Texas, debt collectors are not able to take money from the following:
- Retirement funds
- Unemployment wages
- Insurance proceeds
How Can I Dispute Wage Garnishments?
As a court order is needed for wage garnishment, it can be very hard to overturn, but it is possible to protect or “exempt” some or all of your wages by raising an objection or filing an exemption claim.
To dispute wage garnishment, you need to file papers with the court and go to a court hearing. At the hearing, you need to be able to present evidence that you cannot pay the garnishment amount because of financial hardship, or that you should not have to pay the wage garnishment as it is not valid. Based on your evidence and the quality of your argument, the judge will decide whether to end the wage garnishment or allow it.
The process you need to go through to object to a wage garnishment completely depends on the type of debt that the creditor is collecting.
The best and most reliable way to stop the garnishment and receive your full paycheck is by paying off the debt as soon as possible. If this can’t happen, then a Houston attorney will be able to assess your situation and assist you in finding a debt relief solution, such as using a repayment plan.
Another way to prevent wage garnishment in Texas is to file for bankruptcy.
If you are already struggling financially, then a wage garnishment can have a devastating impact on your life. Even if you were financially comfortable, a large wage garnishment can make it impossible to make ends meet, especially if you have a family and others dependent on your current wages.
Speak to a Houston Wage Garnishment Defense Lawyer Today
If you are struggling because of a wage garnishment, you should immediately contact Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC.
Attorney Stearns knows that you have worked tirelessly for your wages, and we want to help you keep as much of it as possible. Unfortunately, the consequences of wage garnishments can be devastating.
Therefore, if creditors are garnishing your bank accounts or wages, you should contact an experienced and skilled attorney. Attorney Stearns knows exactly which legal protections you could be granted under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Texas bankruptcy laws, based on the specific circumstances around your case.
He will be able to determine which debt relief options will be the best for you to help you get on track to financial stability.
With over 26 years of experience in debt solutions and bankruptcy law, Attorney Stearns has the knowledge and confidence to fight on your behalf. He has helped numerous Texans make a completely fresh start with their finances and can do the same for you.
For legal help with your Texas wage garnishment case, contact Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC at 210-853-2135 today. Don’t delay any longer, or you could be putting your case at risk and limiting your chances of securing the best outcome.